Title: End-to-end word-level disfluency detection and classification in children’s reading assessment.
Abstract: Disfluency detection and classification on children’s speech has a great potential for teaching reading skills. Word-level assessment of children’s speech can help teachers to effectively gauge their students’ progress. Hence, we propose a novel attention-based model to perform word-level disfluency detection and classification in a fully end-to-end (E2E) manner making it fast and easy to use. We develop a word-level disfluency annotation scheme using which we annotate a dataset of children read speech, the reading races dataset (READR).We also annotate disfluencies in the existing CMU Kids corpus. The proposed model significantly outperforms traditional cascaded baselines, which use forced alignments, on both datasets. To deal with the inevitable class-imbalance in the datasets, we propose a novel technique called HiDeC (Hierarchical Detection and Classification) which yields a detection improvement of 23% and 16% and a classification improvement of 3.8% and 19.3% relative F1-score on the READR and CMU Kids datasets respectively.